Maze Hill, SE10

Place Name

Thought to be named after Sir Algernon May (died July 25, 1704). As the fifth son of Sir Humphrey May of Carrow Priory in Norfolk, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, he could have hoped for little of the family’s fortunes. But a marriage to one Dorothy Reynolds, widow of James Calthorpe one of Oliver Cromwell’s lieutenants as Sheriff of Suffolk during the Protectorate, brought him wealth the manor of Ampton, as well as lands in Ireland. He held various roles in court including equerry to Charles II’s wife Catherine of Braganza and keeper of the records in the Tower of London from 1669 to 1686. He lived for a time in east Greenwich until 1693. By the time John Rocque was drawing his map in 1745 it was already known Moys Hill. By 1827 Greenwood’s 1827 map has it as Maize Hill and in 1888 it had become Maze Hill. Other possibilities for the name include Robert May who lived there in 1683, and of whom little is known. However there is one more fanciful suggestion that the maze hill was literal as a labyrinth associated with a nearby manorial house, there is no evidence of this.

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